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DOSBox is a free open source emulator written in C++ which focuses on IBM-based Personal Computers and peripherals from the 1980s and 90s.

Some of the hardware it emulates includes:


Unfortunately, the release of builds for DOSBox have stopped. Despite plenty of new features having been added to the source, they haven't been packaged since 2018. Thankfully, other groups have stepped up to create additional versions:

  • DOSBox Staging - Much easier to use and far more features.
  • DOSBox-X - Focuses on accuracy and cross-platform support so it can run far more non-game software as well as PC-9800 software.
  • Enhanced Community Edition - Now defunct. Includes lots more functionality and features.


Mounting a floppy image

To mount an floppy disk image in the IMG format to the A drive, do the following:

  1. Boot up DOSBox.
  2. Type, IMGMOUNT A file.img -t floppy
  3. In DOSBox, type "MOUNT A C:\DISK" and hit enter.

Mounting a ISO as a CD-ROM

To mount an ISO file as a CD-ROM, do the following:

  1. Boot up DOSBox.
  2. Type, IMGMOUNT D file.iso -t iso
  3. You can now access the ISO as a CD-ROM by typing d:

Installing from multiple floppies

DOSBox doesn't currently support mounting multiple disk images onto a single drive letter, so, to install a program that requires multiple floppies, do the following:

  1. Boot up DOSBox.
  2. Extract the contents of the first floppy into the folder you want. I'll use C:\Disk as an example.
  3. In DOSBox, type MOUNT A C:\DISK and hit enter.
  4. Then, type A: to get to the floppy.
  5. Run the installation program.
  6. When the installation program asks for the next disk, return to your desktop and delete the files in C:\DISK, then replace them with the files from the next disk.
  7. In DOSBox, press CTRL+F4 to reload the mounts.
  8. In the installation program, hit the button to read from the next disk. The program should identify the files as the correct disk.
  9. Repeat steps 6 through 9 until the installation completes.

Note, some installers have special checks to verify that they can only be installed from their actual disks (by checking the disk label, or more clever tactics). Using this method will not work when trying to install such a program. You'll have to find another method or wait until the DOSBox IMGMOUNT program supports multiple floppy images.

Using a USB MIDI Device

If you have a USB MIDI device that you want to use instead of the default, do the following:

  1. Boot us DOSBox.
  2. Type MIXER /LISTMIDI to see a numbered list of all possible MIDI devices. Find the number in the list for your device.
  3. Type MIDICONFIG #, where the # is the number of your USB device.

If you want your regular computer speakers to play the audio, do the following:

  1. Using a patch cable, connect your device's output to your PC's line in.
  2. In Windows, open Control Panel.
  3. Click on Sound.
  4. Click the Recording tab.
  5. Click Line In.
  6. Click Properties.
  7. Click the Listen tab.
  8. Check the box labeled, Listen to this device.
  9. Click OK.

You should now hear the USB device's output on your PC speakers.


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